After surviving a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 marathon in the Davis Cup, world No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic said he was on the receiving end of an obscene gesture from Czech opponent Radek Stepanek.
The two met at the net and exchanged a curt handshake following the five hour, 10 minute match. As they separated, Stepanek appeared to say something to Tipsarevic. The Serbian took offense to the comment and tried to confront his opponent. He was eventually held back by Serbian captain Bogdan Obradovic.
Tipsarevic later posted a picture (above right) that he says proves Stepanek gestured with his middle finger. Stepanek's hand is on the right, untaped. Tipsarevic tweeted the photo with the caption: "It really is a shame that a great tennis nation like CZE is represented by someone like him."
The photo is unclear about the bird-giving, as is the video below. It's obvious Stepanek said something Tipsarevic didn't like, but the middle finger usage goes unseen. Whether or not it happened, Stepanek's behavior was unsportsmanlike and boorish.
Tipsarevic was furious about Stepanek's actions and said so in his press conference.
"I would just like all of you to know what kind of person is Radek Stepanek. I have this thing that I always believe the best in people, and even though players are telling that he can be not so nice on the court, I never believed it — even though I played him three times. As you can see my behavior on the court was, I think, fair enough. When he fell, I crossed the net to see if he needs help. I was always letting him to pass the net first. I even two times admitted a ball (was in) that was questionable After five hours and 10 minutes instead of shaking my hand, he gave me he the middle finger and told me I am stinking — something bad, it's a swear word, let's just say, 'vagina.'
"[I] can understand that somebody like him can be angry after losing a match, especially after having so many chances. But doing this? Not that I would never invent something like this. Unbelievable. I never, ever, ever, thought that I would experience this, especially because of my behavior on court.
"I'm not saying I'm a golden boy, the Stefan Edberg of men's tennis, but at least I know what is right and what is not right. There is just one word for this: it is pathetic. Nothing else."
Stepanek was terse with his response. "We normally shook hands,"he told the AP. "[Tipsarevic] was likely happy that he won."